The global market for food allergy/intolerance products will continue to explode, reaching a projected $26.5 billion-plus by 2017, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
This market continued to see healthy growth throughout the recession, and its drivers -- increasing food allergies and sensitivities across the world -- aren't going away, says GIA.
The U.S. is the largest market. In the past decade, the incidence of food allergies in the U.S. has risen by about 18.5%, GIA reports. About 35 million to 50 million U.S. consumers are allergic to lactose alone -- and Asian-Americans account for an alarming 90.5% of these individuals.
The U.S. is also the world's largest market for gluten-free foods, due to its "highly developed processed food market," the report states.
The somewhat good news for sufferers: The number of players offering an increasingly wide variety of gluten-free products, in particular, seems to be growing nearly as rapidly as this health issue.